#Review Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery by Rosalie Knecht @rosalieknecht @verve_books @holliemcdevitt @OldCastleBooks #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #BookReview #FemaleSpyBook

Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery
By Rosalie Knecht

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This series is getting better. It started with Who Is Vera Kelly? Now she is back with Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery. It is a fun, easy-going spy story, asy to get into and stay with and soak up that film noir atmosphere it creates some of within its entertaining plot.

Thanks to Hollie McDevitt for inviting me to review Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery and for sending me a copy of the book.

Vera Kelly is not a mystery


Recently out-of-the-spy-game heroine Vera Kelly finds herself travelling from Brooklyn to a sprawling
countryside estate in the Caribbean in her first case as a private investigator. When ex-CIA agent Vera Kelly loses her job and her girlfriend in a single day, she reluctantly goes into business as a private detective. Heartbroken and cash-strapped, she takes a case that dredges up dark
memories and attracts dangerous characters from across the Cold War landscape.
Before it’s over, she’ll chase a lost child through foster care and follow a trail of Dominican exiles to the
Caribbean. Forever looking over her shoulder, she nearly misses what’s right in front of her: her own desire for home, connection, and a new romance at the local bar.
In this exciting second instalment of the ‘splendid genre-pushing’ (People) Vera Kelly series, Rosalie Knecht
challenges and deepens the Vera we love: a woman of sparkling wit, deep moral fibre, and martini-dry humour who knows how to follow a case even as she struggles to follow her heart.


Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery is the second in this P.I. series. It’s a bad day when you lose your job in the CIA and girlfriend in a single day, but this is what happened to Vera and so she joined a Private Investigator business. Vera Kelly is essentially a female detective series that has a bit of that 1960’s film noir feel to it, which is all encompassing and can almost be breathed in as if that were possible. There are some of the uphill struggles to be recognised as a strong contender in detective work and yet she gives as good as she gets to prove herself and to get the job done in, sometimes a lively manner.

There is a child who was taken away by the state welfare system because of the death of his gran and this propmts a search to find out what happened to him. From Brooklyn to Dominican Republic and back to New York, she must travel if she is to resolve the case. Amongst this is also the personal life of Vera that creeps in and it isn’t always plain-sailing and she does at times show her softer side as her unfortunate failed love-life affects her here and there.

Pages glide by when reading this series as it is so succinct and is mysterious enough to want to know what happened to the 14 year old boy. The writing is also atmospheric and the details add to this and feel right for this genre. The humour carries it a long too, even though it is as dry as it gets. It’s a gem of a read that can be “got into” very quickly and I read it in one sitting.

The book is all set up and ready to go for Book Clubs. It has a few insightful questions that groups can discuss and debate to do with the book, the era it is set in and more…

Vera Kelly is not a Mystery - BLOG TOUR POSTER

#BookReview by Lou – The Lost Hours @susanlewisbooks @fictionpubteam @LizDawsonPR @HarperCollinsUK #TheLostHours #Thriller

The Lost Hours
By Susan Lewis

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Immersive and page-turning, The Lost Hours, with its fabulous cover is such a page-turner and quite unputdownable as a family goes through such a hard ordeal. It is a brilliant plot in the way it is written, that grips all the way through…

I thank Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for her and Elizabeth Dawson for gifting me a book.

Follow down for the blurb and my review and to find out a bit more about the author.

The Lost Hours Graphic 2


A perfect marriage…

Golden couple Annie and David Crayce have it all. A loving marriage, three beautiful children and a thriving family business. Life couldn’t be better. Until the unthinkable happens…

A perfect crime?

A piece of damning DNA evidence has arisen, placing David as the prime suspect of a murder committed twenty-years ago. Annie is sure her David is innocent. But if he isn’t guilty, then either his father or brother must be.

As the police investigate the cold case, so does Annie. Trawling through her old diaries, she begins desperately looking for answers. But it all comes down to a few lost hours she can’t solve.

And Annie begins to doubt the one person she thought she knew best… Her husband.

The Lost Hours Cover


Lots of us I am sure have blown a dandilion clock to “tell the time” or play a game that shows the “hours pass-by” and watched each fragment, artistically blow away in the wind. The cover is evocative in the way it shows time passing by.

Annie and David Crayce have 3 children, a thriving business, a loving marriage. It is the absolute perfect life. In 1999, however, the book begins with a short-sharp jolt from this knowledge, with a body being found and a thought of Karen Lomax being missing, DCI Underwood was the investigating officer and Timbo Jaks was a suspect, but nothing more and the case remained unsolved.
Fast-forwarding to 2019 and DCI Gould and DS. Natalie Rundle is on the case as she starts out her new posting in Dean Valley Force in the CID Department in Kesterly, when readers really get to know more about what happened and things really get interesting with familial DNA…

There are secrets abound and all isn’t all it seems in this supposedly almost perfect family. The family are faced with so much turmoil when the investigation is re-opened.  As time moves on, there are doubts and aspertions cast upon the family. Things hot up and suspense heightens with the familial DNA discovery. The “perfect” family face not just the nightmare of the disappearance of Karen, but then face the scruitny into their lives, especially that of David’s, including his mental health and how he can be, since leaving the army, and harks back occassionally in his nightmarish flashbacks to what happened during his time of service.

It’s an involving, provocative book that has plenty of suspense and keeps you suspicious about who committed the crime all those years ago…

About the Author

Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home. Friday 5th of December 2014
Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later, My Lies, Your Lies and Forgive Me. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s.

Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.


The April Dead by Alan Parks @AlanJParks @blackthornbks @RandomTTours #TheAprilDead #HarryMcCoy #Thriller #CrimeFiction

The April Dead
By Alan Parks

April Dead Banner

Today is a chance to see a little bit of what is inside The April Dead by Alan Parks and it sounds thrilling!!! This dark and grimy crime novel is the fourth in the Detective Harry McCoy series which has sold over 40,000 copies acrossall editions. This instalment sees McCoy battling corruption on an
international scale, investigating a kidnapping from a US baseand bombings in Glasgow.
The April Dead will appeal to fans of Ian Rankin, Denise Mina,Peter May, William McIlvanney and Val McDermid, as well as TV series such as Idris Elba’s Luther. Listen out for radio broadcasts and the book featuring in crime podcasts. Look out for a UK-wide bookshop tour and festival appearances.

Follow down to find out more about the author, see some fabulous media graphics, the blurb and a few paragraphs that are within the book. Thank you to Random Things Tours for inviting me to the blog tour and to Black Thorn Books publishers for providing an extract from the book.

About the Author

Alan Parks Author Pic (1)Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Bobby March Will Live Forever is the third Harry McCoy thriller

April. Dead Banner 2


In a grimy flat in Glasgow, a homemade bomb explodes, leaving few remains to identify its maker.
Detective Harry McCoy knows in his gut that there’ll be more to follow. The hunt for a missing sailor from the local US naval base leads him to the secretive group behind the bomb, and their disturbing, dominating leader.
On top of that, McCoy thinks he’s doing an old friend a favour when he passes on a warning, but instead he’s pulled into a vicious gang feud. And in the meantime, there’s word another bigger explosion is coming Glasgow’s way – so if the city is to survive, it’ll take everything McCoy’s got . . .

The April Dead Cover


‘Who on earth is going to set off a bomb in Woodlands?’ asked McCoy. ‘It’s the back arse of Glasgow.’

‘The IRA?’ asked Wattie.

‘Maybe,’ said McCoy. ‘It’s Easter Friday I suppose. Not sure blowing up a shitey rented flat in Glasgow is the best way of striking at the British Establishment, not exactly the Houses of Parliament, is it?’

They were standing in the middle of West Princes Street looking up at the blown-out windows and scorched sand- stone of what had been the flat at number 43. The flats around had suffered too: cracked windows, torn curtains hanging out, a window box filled with daffodils sitting face down in the middle of the road. McCoy got his fags out and lit one, waved the match out, and dropped it on the wet street.

‘How come you know it’s rented anyway?’ asked Wattie.

‘They all are around here, rented or sublet, no rent book, no contract. Half of Glasgow’s waifs and strays live in the flats around here.’

‘You think that’s it started? Here I mean?’ asked Wattie. ‘Bombings?’

McCoy shrugged. ‘Hope not but you know what they say. Glasgow is just Belfast without the bombs.’

‘Until now that is,’ said Wattie.

A shout from one of the firemen and they stepped back onto the pavement as a fire engine attempted a three-point turn in the narrow road. The whole street was a mess of fire engines, hoses, ambulances, police cars, uniforms trying to set up ropes to cordon the area off. The flats around 43 had been evacuated, residents standing in the street looking shocked, dressed in an assortment of different clothes from pyjamas and blanket-covered underwear to a man in a pinstripe suit and socks holding a cat in his arms.

A burly fireman emerged from the close and took his helmet off, sandy hair stuck to his head with sweat. He spat on the ground a couple of times and wandered over.

‘It’s safe,’ he said. ‘You can go up now.’
McCoy nodded. ‘Any bodies?’

‘One,’ he said. ‘Half of him’s all over the walls, other half ’s burnt to a bloody crisp.’
McCoy’s stomach turned over at the thought.
‘All yours,’ said the fireman and headed off to the reversing fire engine.
‘Shite,’ said McCoy. ‘We’re going to have to go up there, aren’t we?’
‘Yep,’ said Wattie. ‘You want to throw up now and get it over with?’
‘Smartarse,’ said McCoy, feeling like that was exactly what

he wanted to do. ‘Maybe we should wait for Faulds? He’s on his way.’

‘Any other excuses you can think of?’ asked Wattie. ‘Or is that it?’

McCoy sighed. ‘Let’s go.’

They ducked past the firemen rolling the hose back onto the wheel and headed into the close. Streams of water running down the stairs, stink of smoke and burnt wood in the air. They trudged up the stairs, making for the top-floor flat and the inevitable gruesome scene.

‘You remembering about tonight?’ asked Wattie.

‘How could I forget it?’ said McCoy. ‘You keep reminding me every five minutes. I’ll be at your dad’s at six as instructed.’ ‘He’s booked a Chinese,’ said Wattie. ‘Down in the town. It’s cheap.’

‘Great,’ said McCoy, making a mental note to eat before he went. A Chinese restaurant in Greenock whose selling point was that it was cheap sounded like a recipe for indigestion at best, food poisoning at worst.

They were at the top landing now. Front door of the flat had been burst open by the firemen, was hanging half on-half off its hinges. McCoy gave it one more go.

‘Maybe we should wait for Phyllis Gilroy?’ he asked. ‘What do we know about bomb casualties? She’s the medical examiner after all, she’s going to be much more use than you or me.’

Wattie sighed, looked at him. ‘Look, if you don’t want to go in, it’s fine. I’ll go.’

‘Really?’ asked McCoy. ‘That would be brill—’

‘Aye, and I’ll make sure and tell Murray when we get back to the station all about my commanding officer who was too scared to look at a crime scene.’

‘You really are becoming a bit of a smartarse, Watson,’ said McCoy.

‘Learnt from the best. Ready?’ asked Wattie and pushed the door aside.

Praise for The Harry McCoy Series

Fascinating and dangerous . . . Parks has clearly studied the masters of tartan noir but has his own voice. He shows how, among the welter of violence, a spontaneous act of kindness can have just as great an impact’ – The Times, Book of the Month
‘An old-school cop novel written with wit and economy . . . Think McIlvanney or Get Carter’ – IAN RANKIN
‘1970s Glasgow hewn from flesh and drawn in blood’ – PETER MAY
‘Bloody and brilliant. This smasher from Alan Parks is a reminder of how dark Glasgow used to be’
‘Gripping and violent, dark and satisfying. I flew through it’ – BRET EASTON ELLIS

The April Dead BT Poster

#BookReview by Lou of Blood Loss By Kerena Swan @KerenaSwan @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #Thriller

Blood Loss
By Kerena Swan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A quick-fire pace and sensational plotting that is so unputdownable, it will sweep you off your feet!
Check out this crime fiction book, published by Hobeck Books in the blurb and my review. You can also find links below. I thank Hobeck Books for the book.
I was reading this as one of their HART members (Hobeck Advanced Readers Team).

Blood Loss



With one eye on the rear view mirror and the other on the road ahead, Sarah is desperate to get as far away from the remote Scottish cabin as she can without attracting attention. But being inconspicuous isn’t easy with a black eye and clothes soaked in blood…

… and now the fuel tank is empty.

DI Paton

When a body is discovered in a remote cabin in Scotland, DI Paton feels a pang of guilt as he wonders if this is the career break he has been waiting for. But the victim is unidentifiable and the killer has left few clues.


With the death of her father and her mother’s failing health, Jenna accepts her future plans must change but nothing can prepare her for the trauma yet to come.

Fleeing south to rebuild her life Sarah uncovers long-hidden family secrets. Determined to get back what she believes is rightfully hers, Sarah thinks her future looks brighter. But Paton is still pursuing her…

Blood Loss


Firstly, you would have checked out that cover! It is evocative and I like the shades of red in the writing that matches the reds within the wine. The shades of reds also make me think of blood. It ties it together simply, which makes it stand out on the simple white background. 

Moving onto the story itself: The pace is very fast from the outset and keeps up. By the end it’s a bit like, being able to take stock and breath again…

The characterisation of the “chalk and cheese” relationship between Jenna and Lucy is captured well. That friction leapt off the page and carried me along. The heightened tensions within the family feel realistic, with not much let-up, before jumping into the dectective side with DI Paton, with a slightly turning down on the pace, before it is ramped up again. The short chapters with DI Paton also adds a layer of forensics and brings focus to also solving the case. 
The elements of intrigue that comes from Jenna, especially are great and the introductions of each new element and character is spaced-out well and I reckon help keep that fast-pace and intrigue going, especially with Ellis and then later with Robert and Sarah and Grace.

The psychological elements adds another layer of depth, not just the decline in behavours from the assailant and victim and relationships, but also the very consideration from DI Paton to consider his wellbeing. It’s quite refreshing and subtly makes an important point, even more so because it’s a male character considering options, albeit briefly. It provides a thought-provoking point when he considers CBT, Neurolinguistic Therapy, Stage Show Hypnotist. The very fact this comes from a male character makes it quite a strong statement that may catch their attention a little too.

The themes are strong, with each of them floating along in the story. Each are deep and meaningful and have twists, especially where Jenna. Grace is concerned and the whole entanglement and Grace, which, changes the atmosphere, but not the intrigue later on. 

It’s a strongly, entertaining read and one which I wanted to know how it ended!


Kerena Swan’s Website              www.hobeck.net                Amazon

#BookReview by Lou of Murder on Morrison – A Rose McLaren Mystery by Liza Miles

Murder on Morrison
A Rose McLaren Mystery
By Liza Miles

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The simplicity of delicious, freshly baked goods in a bakery in Edinburgh meets murder and complex people in Murder on Morrison.

Thanks to the author, Liza Miles for inviting me to review her book and for a copy to read.

Follow down to find out more in the blurb and review and about the author and discover links to her Amazon and Website as you go along.


The historic town of Edinburgh appears to be the perfect location for Rose McLaren to set up shop, creating delectable muffins and biscuits. 

But three years later, a death that seemed like an accident brings Rose face to face with a darker and more sinister side of the city. 

Despite several formidable warnings to stay out of things, finding a dead man on her bed is the final straw and Rose reconnects with an old ally from the other side of the fence. 

In her debut as a sleuth, Rose learns that murder, close friends and past enemies all have a role to play in the mystery which she is determined to unravel and solve. 


Set on a colder and more driech day than normal in October in Edinburgh, Rose and Trixie are at work in the bakery (owned by Rose), that is full of delicious cakes and muffins. It is far from any ordinary day as the lightness of the aromas of baked goods float around, they’re pinched by an undercurrent of darkness as a murder occurs. It’s almost cosy murder with a sprinkling of personality and life experience complexities and a good dollop of intrigue.

Rose, former RAF has a fierceness and perfectionist attitude about her that isn’t as sweet as the cakes that are baked and sold, but in a sense, wants her apprentice, Trixie, to do well so she can give her a glowing reference. Amongst some of her more abrasive nature, there is heart as she gives Rob some time to talk to her about the deceased, but then it gets intriguing as he could be a suspect. There is also intrigue in the deeper mystery as to why the Detective Inspector Chatterton has seen Muffins on Morrison be flagged up on investigations in almost quick succession, it triggers the curiosity.

The book leads readers to real locations, such as Morrison Street and Princes Street, including the M&S that is on Princes Street, where there are some truthful anecdotes that most women will be able to relate to. The case then resumes as to how people are perhaps being murdered and the suspects and trying to piece together motive as cakes and mystery mingle together in its mostly chilled out vibe, until almost half-way through it changes course into a twist and all seems not just more mysterious, but a bit more intense before reaching a satisfying conclusion.


About The Author

Liza is the author of Love Bites, Murder on Morrison and My Life’s not Funny, a YA Fiction to be released on May 1st 2021 by Mad Cat Publishing. Liza also contributed poems and prose to the 2020 lock down Anthology ‘Stir Crazy’, published by Whitewater Publishing and The Book Whisperers. She is a member of the Federation of Writers (Scotland) and the Scottish Writers’ Centre.

As a non fiction writer Liza previously published “Insider Stories” for Lion (UK) and “Mummy had an Owie” for Bookerline Publishing, (Canada.)

Liza began her professional life in advertising and documentary film making.

In 1994 Liza studied expressive arts therapy at IATE in London and established The Arts Counselling Trust.

In 2017 Liza settled in Scotland to concentrate on writing fiction. She has two daughters and two cats.


Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks @AlanJParks @blackthornbks @RandomTTours #BobbyMarch #HarryMcCoy

Bobby March Will Live Forever
By Alan Parks
Rated: 5 stars *****

The plot is both gritty and gripping and very quickly gets into full-swing from the outset, with twists and turns to come throughout. It’s quite the page-turner on such an interesting dark back drop in Glasgow.  Although this is book 3 in the series, it works very well as a standalone as well as part of the Harry McCoy series.
This is a book praised by Ian Rankin and Peter May.
Thanks to Blackthorn publishers for providing a book and for RandomThingsTours for inviting me to be part of the blogtour.
Follow on down to find out more about the author, the blurb and my review as well as website and social media links.

About The Author

Alan Parks Author Pic (1)Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Bobby March Will Live Forever is the third Harry McCoy thriller

Bobby March bookshelf


Harry McCoy investigates the suspicious overdose of a rock legend and the disappearance of a young girl in this gripping thriller.


Bobby March PB CoverThere’s a heatwave in Glasgow and the drugs trade is booming. The whole force is searching for missing thirteen-year-old Alice Kelly. All except Harry McCoy, who has been taken off the case after a run-in with the boss, and is instead sent alone to investigate the death of rock-star Bobby March, who has just overdosed in the Royal Stuart hotel.

The papers want blood. The force wants results. McCoy has a hunch. But does he have enough time?

  • Themes include inner-city poverty, gang warfare, the rise and fall of rock & roll stardom, illegal narcotics distribution and the growth of the IRA, seen through the eyes of his good-cop-in-a-gray-world, Detective Harry McCoy.
  • Will appeal to fans of Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Peter May, William McIlvanney and Val McDermid, as well as TV series such as Idris Elba’s Luther


Ingeniously, Alan Parks has chosen months of the year to be within his titles, the first being Bloody January, followed by February’s Son and this is his latest installment – Bobby March Will Live Forever. Set in 1970’s Glasgow in the underworld during a heatwave (proving it does get hot in Scotland), Harry McCoy is facing a hard time of it as he has involuntarily been taken off the case investigating the death of rockstar – Bobby March. It’s dark and twisty as well as evocative in this latest book in Tartan Noir.
The book is most definitely Glasgow with Central Station, The Barras and the named press being The Daily Record and The Evening Times all being mentioned, so there is plenty that people will recongnise or an familiarise themselves with.

The music scene is set-up well with Bobby March heading to London to do an important recording in the 1960’s. Fast forward to the 70’s – the era the book is predominantly set in, during a drugs and rock n roll world and the book captures the culture well, around this time and Bobby March seems like he’s a music legend, with graffiti around saying “Bobby March Will Live Forever”. He’s a character readers get to know as the book goes along and get a real feel for who he was and the grim lifestyle he had lived.
The book also takes a look at the social aspect of these times in the more impoverished parts of Glasgow, where there were people living who were very much set apart from the music scene, before focusing back onto the case, which leads them to the Barras to do some digging around. McCoy has quite the work ethic and an interest in finding the truth and bringing about justice, even when it means a few scrapes along the way.

There is a missing 13 year old and Harry McCoy has to find her, off the record. The pressure to discover more about Bobby March and his presumed overdose and the missing teen, can be felt as the pages turn.

Gritty and gripping on the dark backdrop of the music and drugs scenes of 1970’s Glasgow; Bobby March Will Live Forever is the latest Harry McCoy Thriller that keeps feeding the curiosity to the end.

I have read an extract of the next book – April Dead and readers are in for something equally as explosive and dramatic!

Bobby March book


 Twitter: @AlanJParks

 Website: www.alanparks.co.ukBobby March PB BT Poster